Why I’m NOT Getting “Empowered” With The Masses

Recently my inbox has been flooded with offers to join David Wood’s newest creating, The Empower Network. I’m always skeptical when “everyone” jumps on one money making opportunity.

So, I started doing a little research to see if there were any “TRUE” independent reviews of the Empower Network and alas, I came up empty-handed.

Every single reviewer was a member of the Empower Network and many were committing a MAJOR legal no-no by failing to include a material disclosure along with their review.

I am NOT an affiliate of the Empower Network and I personally not will not be recommending the Empower Network as a method of building your personal brand and I’d like to share with you the reasons for my decision.

Now I’m sure I’m going to hack off plenty of people with this review, but hey, honesty is my policy over here and if my inbox is getting flooded with “offers” about this product, and I took the time to do my due diligence on this product…you better believe I’m going to share my honest take on this newest craze. (As a side note, I think David is a great guy, who has a wealth of knowledge to share..this review is solely about my analysis of the Empower Network and how I came to decide not to join or promote it.)

Reason #1: The 100% Commission Claim.

I have done extensive research on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) rulings with respect to business opportunities and internet marketing tactics.  One of the things that jumped out at me throughout my research, is that the FTC appears to not care if a claim is technically correct…they care about what the average consumer is lead to believe based on the claim that a product/service provider is making.

This is one area where I personally believe the Empower Network may have issues down the road: Everyone is shouting “100% Commissions” from the mountain tops.

I make 100% commissions on the sale of my own products.  All day, every day. Without exception.  That is a true 100% commission.

From what I’ve seen in the Empower Network promotional materials, you have to “pass up” your 2nd, 4th and 6th sales.

So, let’s say a person only makes 6 sales (which given the usual 80/20 principal is not that far off…) then, in reality, they are making only a 50% commission, not the promised 100% commission.

Who cares about getting 100% commission on the 1st, 3rd and 5th sales, when you make zero, zilch, nada on the 2nd, 4th and 6th sales ?!?

This is nothing more than “fuzzy math”, in my opinion, and a far cry from the 100% commission claim being advertised.

“Oh, but Natasha….. after you make 6 sales, you only pass up every 5th sale!”

Ok, so, in other words, after your 1st six sales, you make 80% commission on every 5 sales.

Doesn’t solve the problem, in my opinion.

It does not appear to be truly 100% commission no matter how you slice it.

100% commission means you make 100% on every sale. Anything less than that, therefore, cannot by definition be 100% commission.

What concerns me even more is what happens when some enlightened individual strongly encourages the folks at EN to quit making the 100% Commission claim (which I personally believe is the prudent thing to do)?

Well, the Empower Network loses a TON of its appeal, right?

Because the massive selling point is the 100% Commission claim.  Without the 100% Commission claim, sales aren’t going to be as plentiful.  The company presumably knows that…the question is, do they care about long-term success or short-term gains?

We’ll see….

Personally, once I saw the compensation plan, I was out the door.  When I promote anything, I’m staking my reputation on it.

As a result, I refuse to promote anything where a compensation claim appears to be misleading at best and downright deceptive at worst.  Especially when the claim is the primary selling point of the product/service!

Reason #2: Lack of  Personal Branding

Since I’m not a member of the Empower Network, I can’t attest to all of the tools that they have (or don’t have) to promote.  However, every website that I’ve personally seen that has been allegedly “branded” by the individual entrepreneur, consists of an enormous banner of a half-naked David Wood and a nice large box on the right of the page of another photo, you guessed it….of David Wood.

How does this brand anyone except David Wood?

Here’s a hint…..it doesn’t.

One of the BIGGEST mistakes that I made when I started marketing online was directing my leads immediately to a “Guru” without branding myself first.  Sure, you want to be able to leverage other people’s systems, but you must brand yourself first.

No matter WHAT you say on your Empower Network page, David Wood is the dominant feature and star on your page, not you.

If I was a brand new marketer, I wouldn’t start off my online career with something like this.  That’s just my opinion.

 Reason #3:  Lack of Congruence With My Target Market

As you know from my Building You, Inc. training series, it is CRUCIAL to know your target market and gear your content and offers to that target market.

My target market for the most part is not going to be impressed with hype-y claims of 100% commissions and photos of a half-naked guy.

That’s not to say that such a message and picture won’t appeal to someone else’s target market perfectly.  In fact, I know for a fact that for some folks this will be a more congruent offer.

But for my target market (older professionals looking to replace a six-figure income), this message and imagery just won’t fly.   So, that’s just another reason why I’ve chosen to not join the Empower Network.

As with any product or service that you spend your hard-earned money on, please do your due diligence. : )

To the Top!

PS If you are interesting in learning more about my marketing team and how you can work with me, you may apply here.

31 Responses to “Why I’m NOT Getting “Empowered” With The Masses”

  1. Candice Michelle Says:

    I’ve seen a lot of advertisements online that Empowered Network is touting that you can gain 100% commission once you become a member. However, this is not the result most of the time. I think they are just deceiving us. What they are claiming about themselves is only true when it comes to their advertisements, but in real life setting it’s not.
    Candice Michelle recently posted..יועצת שינה

  2. Greg Meares Says:

    Hey there Natasha,

    Great post!

    When I started getting promotions on this site I thought it looked very spammy. The red background and caution tape asking you to opt-in to find out the secret.

    After about 10 emails I finally decided to just opt-in and see what it is about.

    Initially (after watching the video) I was sold and I signed up thinking that this might make a nice ancillary product to offer my subscribers. But once I got inside and looked around I realized there was nothing really to it and it really wouldn’t add value to and for my followers.

    I wonder what the retention rate will be?

    Anyway, I think you are the first to actually point out the flaws.

    Thanks
    Greg

  3. Marsha Godwin Says:

    Natasha…

    Thanks for doing a straightforward assessment of this program/product. I also have been slammed with emails about it. At first it looked interesting.

    I totally agree with you on the importance of “Branding You”…it is or should be YOUR business and YOUR blog.

    Marsha
    Marsha Godwin recently posted..Before You Start Your WordPress Blog

  4. Lorraine McNulty Says:

    Hi Natasha
    Thanks you so much for an honest opinion and one not afraid of ruffling a few feathers.
    Your reasoning makes complete sense.
    Regards
    Lorraine
    Lorraine McNulty recently posted..How to remove the ‘edit info’ option on your Facebook fan page used by Facebook Places

  5. Steve Gonzalez Says:

    Hey Natashsa

    Thanks for the review. I am a member of the Empower Network and I appreciated this post. I haven’t done a review post yet on my own blog. I’ve been looking online at what other people have been saying to get some ideas and without realizing it I have been looking for an unbiased opinion. It helps put a different perspective on things. Your article helps me there. I’ll definitely keep this in mind as I write my partially biased review he-he.

    I wrote a whole lot more written about this but I’m not sure whats the proper blog comment etiquette is. It was enough to fill a blog post so that’s what I did. I don’t fully agree with your assessment of the Empower Network but I do appreciate you sharing your insight. Thank You.
    Steve Gonzalez recently posted..Insights into Empower Network ( a blog discussion)

  6. Natasha Nassar Says:

    Hi Candice! I don’t think the folks at EN have ill-intentions. Sometimes folks get a little “too” creative with the marketing for my taste!

    Greg- thanks so much for taking the time to share your perspective on your time in the Empower Network. I think that having a no-hype discussion about the system will most certainly be of value to any of my readers who are considering promoting this opportunity.

    Marsha- my pleasure! After getting a deluge of emails, I couldn’t stand it anymore! I had to see what all the fuss was about….and then write about it! Ha ha ha!
    Natasha Nassar recently posted..Let’s Put The “Giving” Back Into Thanksgiving

  7. Natasha Nassar Says:

    Lorraine, as my friends over at Better Networker know, I’m never afraid to ruffle any feathers! Of course, it’s not my intention to be disparaging of the product, but instead to simply share my analysis of what I saw and why it is exactly that I personally chose not to participate.

    Steve! Thanks for taking the time to start a great dialogue. Love having another “insider’s” perspective on this. I’ve actually posted your article as a “Part 2″ to the discussion.
    Natasha Nassar recently posted..You, Inc. Commandment #7: Thou Shalt Not SPAM

  8. Edwin Arenas Says:

    I’ve received some e-mails to see the opportunity in Empowered Network and I didn’t put up with all the video, so it’s “kind of my fault” I didn’t know about the 1st, 3rd, sale and so on.

    But what I do remember is the 100% commision in the email invitation.

    It’s like having to read the fine print. The 100% big in the email and ads I’ve seen on facebook, and the rules to get the actual commisions in the contract.

    Yes, I think it’s misleading.
    Edwin Arenas recently posted..¿En Marketing Multinivel a qué se refieren con Estrategias Duplicables?

  9. James Says:

    Natasha,

    I am an empower network member.
    I agree with your assessment of not branding the gurus. If you are getting started, you don’t even have to worry so much about personal branding as that comes in it’s own proper time. But I agree that sending people straight to a Guru… will probably make them broke and jump programs.

    I see the real value of the EN blog is to use it for syndicating articles. The domain authority should grow and you can place matching articles with a link back to your blog for the original content…

    It is my understanding that they are opening the blog for changing things around and for personal branding but that has been done yet (however, the site is down for maintenance as I type this….)

    I Hate the 100% commission marketing, but it obviously works. I’ve received more emails on this than any other launch in a long time too.

    It seems the “loop-hole” is that you really are passing up 50% of commissions, so the only way to achieve a full 100% would be to help your empower team to build a team, so that you also get those 50% rate of pass ups.

    Truth be told, that is a cause for Major Misunderstanding,
    but I see potential value here in the system, the training, and a hosted blog for what positive things that can be provided.

    I would like to see them grow the system into a blog community.

    Finally, I,too, really wish they would lead with a value proposition rather than the 100% commission stuff.

    Perhaps with enough feedback, they will make the changes on that.

    Regards,
    James
    James recently posted..Defining Your Definite Major Purpose In Life

  10. Lisa Says:

    Thanks for the heads up, Natasha. Excellent review of this! I agree with the “Branding You” statement, and the importance of your own blog.
    Lisa recently posted..Embrace The Unexpected

  11. Natasha Nassar Says:

    My pleasure Lisa. In the world we live in online, there’s always the “latest and greatest” and I know personally that it’s refreshing to hear a TRUE 3rd party review of a product vs. some affiliate coming up with clever sales copy in the form of a supposed disinterested review.

  12. Natasha Nassar Says:

    Thanks for sharing about the domain authority, someone else brought that to my attention as well. As a marketing “tool” for that purpose, EN sounds pretty good. But until they completely ditch the 100% Commission thing, I can’t even think of recommending it because most people will want to use it as a revenue source vs a marketing tool.

  13. Darren Says:

    Hi Natasha. Great post for when it was written. I’m one of the original members and at the time I joined, it was more of an income opportunity, however the value in the products is unmatched (even in other high level training platforms I’ve taken part in). There are different levels of involvement that people will have, and different uses for the platform. I personally use it as an authority domain and viral syndication platform. Also I’ve bought all the products, so I can attest to the pure value and top level training and coaching that is inside, by some of the highest paid and highest authority marketers in our industry.

    I appreciate your branding – it’s a very specific niche, professionals, older individuals….. and it may not have seemed to be a great fit, but i think you’ll see if you speak with fully paid members that the value is clear and all about value.

    Best
    Darren
    Darren recently posted..Car Sick With Scott Willoughby And Dumbing Down Domain Authority

  14. Christopher Hummel Says:

    Very interesting post with some very good points. I’m very impressed with the content in this post. Always good to see honest opinions of those that may not be in the “masses”
    Christopher Hummel recently posted..Best Business Decision I’ve Ever Made

  15. David Merrill Says:

    I’m so glad you did this post, Natasha.

    I know too many people who don’t know what they’re getting into with the Empower Network. I won’t way it’s a bad idea, only that they need to SEE what it’s really all about.

    You’ve done that, here.

    For me, the biggest issue IS the branding one. And that doesn’t pertain just to the EN, but any other “system” out there that you might want to try out. It’s okay to do, but only if you don’t have personal branding at the top of your list of WHY you’re presenting yourself online to begin with.

    Thanks, Natasha. This was good for many people to read.
    David Merrill recently posted..Skype Set Up | The Basics of Getting Started

  16. Peter Fuller MBA Says:

    Hey Natasha

    Good points, but :)

    First, the 100% commission claim refers to the fact that the system pays out 100% commissions in total which is substantially more than any other mlm.

    It is true that you do pass up some of your recruits but you also receive pass ups from your downline. Plus you break even with just one recruit.

    No mlm can compete with that.

    As for branding I can think of a number of ways to brand yourself with the Empower Network.

    One way is to put your leads into your own auto-responder and train them on how to generate leads or any other money making activity.

    Target Market Congruence – hmm, interesting, my target market is helping people develop a cash flow to supplement their retirement income or even retire early. Many in my target market have no idea on how do this. The Empower Network is easy to use and cheap without breaking their bank while learning how to work online.

    Peter
    Peter Fuller MBA recently posted..The Cash Flow Mindset

  17. Will Bingham Says:

    Empower Network is Awesome! If your reading this…. and your not in…. Click on my link…. and JUST GET IN!

    It’s actually more than 100% if you think about it because you get pass ups….. and have powerlines….. I’ve had way more people get passed up to me, than I’ve passed up…. It’s awesome.

    I believe in branding yourself and having your own funnel, the Empower Network is NOT the best platform for personal branding…. however… it’s hard for a lot of people to create there own funnel at first….
    I think it is the best platform for people new to internet marketing to make $ online.

    Let me know about your new branding product :)

    Will Bingham
    512-567-9801

    P.S. the training is phenomenal in Empower Network.
    @Greg Meares,

  18. Tony Logue Says:

    Natasha,

    Most of your comments here date back to only a month or two after the Empower Network launched.

    The reason you only see David’s picture (twice) on the front page is because many of the people who sign up haven’t taken the time to post their own picture in the box. If you look at my site you’ll see my big ugly mug.

    In the first month or so there was very little available outside of the blog (which by the way now has an Alexa ranking worldwide of 1,008 and 294 in the US.

    Now there are interviews available on a weekly basis and additional training products available. The interviews are with industry leaders who are coming on board using this as a training and marketing tool for their primary business to great success.

    To your example of you passing up sales, as Peter mentioned you also get passups, so using your numbers of 80/20 and a $100 total sale, this would be the possible scenario.

    You make 10 sales and pass up 4, you’ve made $600 on 10 sales. From the next two levels down you get 8 passups for $800. This by the way is residual products. You are now making $1,400 a month for as long as those people keep their subscription.

    Using these same numbers, you are spending 100 a month and earning 1400.

    Tell me that’s not a lucrative comp plan, and pioneering. Also every comp plan known to man sells based upon what is possible not what is probable.

    In a traditional comp plan you would have to have 1,000-1,400 people in your group to achieve those results.

    Does everyone achieve it? Absolutely not along with the fact that most people never succeed at anything they try to do, in part due to the lack of training or desire.

    Here you have access to a powerful blogging platform and incredible training.

    Like anything else in life, not for everyone. I think however it’s a disservice to give such a pointed opinion when are not totally knowledgeable about the subject.

    Just my two cents, or maybe 3.

  19. Natasha Nassar Says:

    @Tony Logue, Since I am not an affiliate (unlike many of the bogus “reviews” from affiliates) I find no need to revise my post. My readers wanted to know
    my thoughts. I shared them.

    In a follow up post I specifically said that I had no doubt the training is solid- David is a fantastic trainer.

    Respectfully, you have completely missed my main point with respect to the comp plan.
    I don’t care how “lucrative” the comp plan is… the 100 % commission angle is deceptive. Period.

    The average person (which is the standard the Federal Trade uses in evaluating product claims) who sees an ad for 100% commission thinks that they will make 100% of every sale. That is not the case. Bottom line- I didnt recommend it then, and I don’t recommend it now as a blog platform.

    I’m glad that you are enjoying your experience with the EN. I wish you the best of luck!
    Natasha Nassar recently posted..The Renegade Team: The Secret To Cutting Your Learning Curve By 90%

  20. Mr. Herring Says:

    I found your article interesting — when you wrote it Empower Network really just launched (October 31, 2011). Since then, over $4.5 Million have been paid out to the members within the network and amazing growth rate (over 20,000) and expanded to 170+ countries.

    What I think your readers are confused about the real opportunity of Empower Network… the opportunity is to make money, and secondly to establish a blog on an authority site. For the blogger who has no interest BUT to blog, that is great product for link backs, but for the business person who sees a viable way to increase their cash flow reselling a blog system shouldn’t be discouraged. In fact as this grows, and as the global recession continues to hurt the masses, innovative solutions that are proven to work will be needed more. The fact is every person has a merchant account to process their own sales makes this very powerful as there is no delay in the sales process. Additionally, the funnel system is powerful because most people are poor at sales. The funnel helps inexperienced people who have poor skills the ability to use a turnkey process and allow David to do the “heavy lifting”

    I applaud the modifications of David Woods and David Sharp since November 2011 – they have made a membership site that has tremendous value and enables all members to make money from day 1. The fun thing is after the very first sale, a person really has a free system to enjoy.

    I appreciate your thoughts and the thoughts of your contributors.

  21. lisa Says:

    Excellent post Natasha, it took quite some searching to finally find an independant and unbiased view of the empower network. They seem to have come up with a quite brilliant way of making the first few pages of google come up with their own blogs if you type empower +scam in the box!
    lisa recently posted..Zazzle Store

  22. Richard Says:

    Great article Natasha Nassar and I concur 100%. Further more I suspect strongly that upcoming FTC rule changes will have a major impact on this “system”. I myself find it creates more spammer then networkers, and helps brand and promote only one person… David Woods.

    I am going to share this in my groups.

  23. Anthony Says:

    I also believe you have to either have a merchant account or pay $19.95 a month for EN e-wallet?

    Any idea what other charges there are?

    Anthony

  24. Dan Says:

    Finally a unbias independent review of the system. Unfortunately 99% of the rest of the reviews are so biased they can’t see the forest for the trees because the are in the system. It is almost as if they are too deep in to see how crazy it sounds when they say things like 100% commission. It seems as though when you talk to Empower people they loose the ability to think critically and logically. People should be smart with business, but this “business” seems more like a cult and or a religion and you should just run it on faith. No offense to religious. But, the leaders say things like, “if someone quits empower they must be wussies”, no actually they quit because empower was deceptive, or it appears to be like a pyramid scheme, where the products seem to have no value outside the system themselves. I strait up asked someone, what about FTC rules, or other legal problems? They said, well Empower has been around for a year or so, so everything must be fine, they have lawyers” Just because they are still around doesn’t mean they are fine. Just because they have lawyers doesn’t mean they are legal. It seems people are a little too enticed by the money and don’t truly do independent research. They don’t truly study the laws themselves. Anyhow. I predict they will be shutdown within a year or two if they don’t make some serious changes.

  25. Jason Says:

    Hey,

    I am an empowernetwork customer and affiliate. No promotion here though. I just wanted to say the you really shouldn’t review (especially negatively) a company or product that you do not have personal experience with. Anyone who is in our industry understands that you pay real money for real valuable content and education. And that is what Empower Network is. I can attest to that. It is the most honest, raw internet marketing (not just network marketing) education I have ever found online. And I have spent quite a bit of money on my education in the past. It has been worth MORE than what I paid. The blog is also completely customizable (no branding) if a customer wants.

    Speculation and naysaying on forums is generally reserved for people who are afraid to be bold in life and who find comfort in belittling others.

    Again, I’m offering an honest review here AS A CUSTOMER. I am not trying to promote the products (though they are top notch). If a review is to be given in depth, it should be given from someone who is basing it on actual experience, not hearsay and speculation.

  26. Natasha Nassar Says:

    @Dan, agree that just because a company has lawyers, doesn’t mean it’s legal. Clients don’t always take their attorneys’ advice! : )

  27. Natasha Nassar Says:

    @Anthony, No clue- I’m not in the program!

  28. Jeff Says:

    Seems that if those making money with Empower Network is a good thing ,so what if David Woods is getting all the Branding,the idea hers is to make money from what they are doing,he wont be the 1st and he wont be the last, as for honesty in the marketing well I am all for things being up front,and have not checked into it that deep,but being up front would be a plus,any wayif they where being misleading would not the Federal Trade Commsion Jump in,cause there sure is a lot of folks getting on this train in a time with hi lay offs down sizing more taxes rising prices defunked pensions etc etc I think its great that there is something you can do about it

  29. Lucio Says:

    Excellent article. I’m going through some of these issues as well..
    Lucio recently posted..Lucio

  30. Chris Benton Says:

    Thank you for this blog post. I am pitched all the times and several of my concerns are the same as yours as I see the FTC jumping in this eventually because of they way it is being pitched. Thank you for an honest assessment!

    Chris
    Chris Benton recently posted..I am giving it 90 days! Have you heard this before?

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  1. Insights into Empower Network ( a blog discussion) | Steve A Gonzalez - November 29, 2011

    [...] a long response and have be viewed in bad taste. Here’s my response to the article at “http://natashanassar.com/empowered-network-review” by the great Natasha [...]

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